US and China conflict a real threat to markets, Bloomberg citing hedge fund preparing for worst

Bloomberg elaborates on the earlier headlines pertaining to the Senior US and Chinese officials planning to assess the nations’ trade agreement this month/

The article notes the ising tensions between the countries and details how the rise of a new superpower like China threatens US dominance which could lead to conflict.

Lead paragraphs

The discussion on the so-called phase-one deal, led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, would take place on or around Aug. 15, six months after the agreement took effect, as directed in the text of the accord, the people said.

The White House declined to comment, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The planned talks were reported earlier Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Key notes

  • President Donald Trump has said repeatedly in recent weeks that the deal is not as important to him as before because of what he called China’s role in the spread of the coronavirus.
  • “After this happened, I don’t feel the same about the deal,” Trump said in a Fox Business interview Tuesday.
  • Beijing has fallen far behind its purchases commitments on agriculture and energy products. 
  • Trump has threatened to ban Chinese music video app TikTok from the U.S. market unless an American company buys it by Sept. 15.
  • Microsoft is in talks with the U.S. government to address perceived national security issues in the purchase of the company.

Possibility of an armed clash between the US and China

One Singaporean hedge fund is preparing for another dire event -- the possibility of an armed clash between the U.S. and China, the article continues

In the lead-up to November’s U.S. presidential election, APS Asset Management Pte. is increasing allocations to the relative safety of cash, along with stocks that would weather an outbreak of hostilities, said founder and Chief Investment Officer Kok Hoi Wong.

Recent tit-for-tat consulate closures were merely the opening salvo and there’s a chance that political posturing during the election campaign could peak with American forces triggering an altercation in the South China Sea, Wong said, without elaborating on how he sees that occuring.

Market implications

“If there’s some form of military conflict it will not be a full-blown war but an isolated, small-scale conflict,” said Wong, whose firm manages about $2.5 billion. “But markets will panic and crash so we don’t want to position our portfolio too bullishly or aggressively.”

Indeed, war is a threat to equities and risk on FX such as the Australian dollar which is in a phase of constructing a RHS of a bearish daily head and shoulders pattern.


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